Ethnic identity and the power of being undefined
Ethnic Identity and the Power of Being Undefined
Anish Shroff, 2004 grad of the Newhouse School and current ESPN studio host, anchor and play-by-play commentator for college sports, spoke on the power of embracing your cultural roots and standing up for what you truly believe is the right cause.
The underlying question of this discussion is why Asian Americans and Indian Americans, being that they are underrepresented in the media, have never felt comfortable pushing their culture forward.
In his talk, Shroff puts forth the notion that our country’s sense of nationalism is not clearly defined. This includes taking back America requires two sides adding to the mixing pot, despite having to lose or adjust certain aspects of their heritage. Transforming what it means to be Asian American or Indian American means embracing the new rather than taking something back. Getting rid of the proto-American stereotype is now more important than ever.
“I want to see more of us (the Asian American community) step out and do something different, not being shackled by cultural norms, not saying I got to do this because my parents are making me. I want more of us to pursue our dreams,” Shroff said.
We as a collective cannot be afraid to tell our stories. By showing support and learning from each other, this will lead to a more fair and unique view to be accepted by society.
Shroff comments, “It’s the benefit of leaders. If we can just inspire them to at least get to the threshold of the success of failure. If they fail because they are not good enough that is okay. Let us encourage them in their next endeavor. But, if they are unable to succeed because of bias and unfairness, we are really good at blaming that on others. They should know we have their back.”
Today, Shroff and fellow ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi are two of many broadcasting pioneers in sports news.